Friday, July 22, 2011

Decapitation, POST(?)ORGANIC (2006)

It's always a pleasure to meet metalheads with clear critical standards for music, and even moreso to be introduced to a new band at this late date that arouses my interest. Thus I am now indebted to Alex Kulungowski for introducing me to Decapitated, a band I previously knew nothing about. I would put them in the same league as Meshuggah, Morbid Angel, the grossly underrated Lyzanxia, and almost Carcass (almost, but then Carcass are the god-kings.) I have to admit that I'm one of those guys who hears the word "underground" and translates it to "underproduced", so I tend not to run out and check out every band with an extreme name. Secondly, there's a whole world of bands from Eastern Europe whose lack of innovation and two-tin-cans-scraping-together guitars have poisoned me against all other bands from Eastern Europe. In the first few seconds of Organic Hallucinosis I knew that this metal bigotry had caused me to miss out on important metal. Decapitation is a shining star.

As metal should be, it's complex enough to demand your full attention to appreciate it, but not so unnecessarily scattered or avant-garde that you won't remember any of it or want to listen to it again. (I'm on my third listen of both songs below as I finish this post.) That is to say, it bears the mark of true talent of being able to create tension and violate expectation within a still-familiar framework. For example, they create a lot of rhythmic tension by placing a sixteenth note in a riff where you don't expect it, rather than constantly resorting to grating polyrhythms or strange meters. Listen to the outro of Organic Hallucinosis.

POST(?)ORGANIC, Organic Hallucinosis (2006)

Spheres of Madness, Nihility (2002)

In Spheres above I particularly like the riff that begins at 2:30. Not what you would have predicted anyone would put there.

A final comment: highly technical and innovative bands also tend to come out of the starting gate that way, or at least tend to write that way as soon as they're proficient on their instruments, so it's interesting that Decapitated follow this pattern. (Is there any band that gets technical for the first time later in their careers?) I'm glad I discovered them now. They have a new record as of two weeks ago, Carnival is Forever. Support good metal.

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